Pew: Over a quarter of American adults use mobile location-based services

About 5 percent of mobile users and 12 percent of smartphone owners use location check-in services such as Foursquare. Not many people are “checking in” using services such as Foursquare and Gowalla, but over a quarter of Americans are checking out their surroundings using location-based services.The latest research from Pew’s Internet and American Life Project found that 28 percent of American adults have used mobile or social location-based services to get recommendations such as the best-rated nearby cafe or directions from their current location.To read this Washington Post report in full, see:
Also see:Over a quarter of U.S. adults use location-based services
Foursquare and similar location-based check-in apps might sound silly to some, but they’re gaining in popularity nonetheless.A new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that at least 28 percent of U.S. adults have found a liking for mobile and social location-based services. of American adults use mobile and social location-based servicesOverviewMore than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:

  • 28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location — that works out to 23% of all adults.
  • A much smaller number (5% of cell owners, equaling 4% of all adults) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones.
  • 9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services. That works out to 7% of all adults.

Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones — and many users do several of them. These figures come from a new national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and represent Project’s most expansive study of location services to date.”Americans are not currently all that eager to share explicitly their location on social media sites, but they are taking advantage of their phones’ geolocation capabilities in other ways,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, Pew Internet Project research specialist and co-author of the report. “Smartphone owners are using their phones to get fast access to location-relevant information on-the-go.”About the SurveyThe results reported here are based on a national telephone survey of 2,277 adults conducted April 26-May 22, 2011. 1,522 interviews were conducted by landline phone, and 755 interviews were conducted by cell phone. Interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish. For results based on all adults, the margin of error is +/-2 percentage points. Learn more in the Methodology section.

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